Those regular readers amongst you may remember that we reviewed the first Reed, and not long ago. In fact, it was only back in February that we cast an eye over Reed Remastered and awarded it a respectable 3.5/5 stars. So it’s not been a long wait at all before the second has arrived. But are you ready for more?
Story-wise, Reed 2 follows on pretty much directly from the first. It turns out Reed (the titular character who you play as) failed, and thus so did the reboot. This means the digital world is once again under threat of total collapse, and the only way to stop it is to deliver the backup files to the Developer. If you didn’t understand a word of that, it doesn’t really matter. Trust me, it’s all about the gameplay.
As you might expect from a platformer, it’s all about jumping, dodging, and collecting. Incidentally, you’ll need to obtain all the information cubes in a level to progress. You’ll meet some other survivors en route, if you find them that is. What’s rather disappointing is that they serve no purpose other than to rattle off a few concerns whilst at the same time earning you a ton of Gamerscore.
You may be glad to learn it is insanely easy to earn Gamerscore and achievements in Reed 2. For example, you get 90G just for collecting your first cube (by jumping essentially), and another 90G if you die once. And yes, there are 1000G up for grabs here.
In terms of getting around, you can move with the left thumbstick/D-pad and jump/double jump with A. That’s all there is to it. A is also used to interact with characters, which at some points is frustrating, as instead of jumping you’ll plummet to your death. As well as this, at times the double jump isn’t very responsive. This means you’ll double jump, land on a platform, and go to double jump again, but you’ll only jump once and die. You’ll come a cropper a fair few times this way, especially when you land on a ledge which requires you to jump off straight away before it collapses.
The level design in Reed 2 is quite clever, forcing you to plan your moves carefully, otherwise you’ll be caught out by a spike, saw or something else sharp and nasty. That said, it’s all still very simple stuff. There are numerous parts of the environment that look like they can be interacted with, but sadly they are just for show. Some sort of depth to the gameplay would have broken up the 50+ levels a little more effectively.
That’s not to say that there aren’t secrets to be found however – they are just hidden behind fake walls. It’s not really clear what the point of them is, if I’m honest. In some of the concealed areas you collect more information cubes, but it seems to have no noticeable effect on the game.
Anyway, for your £4.99 there are a generous 52 levels on offer in Reed 2. Unfortunately there’s little replay value, but when you do complete the game you’ll be able to select any level you like to revisit. However, you can’t see a preview of the level, so unless you’ve got the memory of that bloke in 21, it might as well be a choice at random.
It’s also worth mentioning that in Reed 2 you don’t have lives, but a single hit will kill you. Even if you brush past some spikes, you’ve had it. Reed is quite light on his feet too, so expect this to happen a lot. I recommend using the D-pad to move about for this exact reason.
It was at about 15 levels in that I found the game to become quite frustrating. It gets more difficult, and rightly so, but I found myself with little incentive to keep playing; should it not have been for this review it would have been a struggle. As opposed to relishing the challenge, I’m sad to say Reed 2 falls into the “I want to hurl my controller at the wall” category. Just for the record, I didn’t and I’m proud of that fact.
A retro platformer from Ratalakia Games is nothing we haven’t seen before. The pixel art graphics look decent enough, but apart from Reed himself it has very little that distinguishes it from the numerous games that have come before. Now, I’m not exactly sure how to describe Reed, but in a strange way it’s a cute little thing, whatever it is. There’s nothing new on offer here for players though and it’s very much a case of more of the same.
You could do worse than Reed 2 on Xbox One if you’re looking to kill an hour or two. However, it’s most likely the price that will have it jump out at you, as whether it’s in the first game or somewhere else, frankly it’s a case of “been there, done that”.